Stars: Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown
Premiere Date: September 22
Why we’re excited: How the hell is Community still underrated? Two seasons deep, NBC’s experimental comedy is still more of a cult favorite than a 30 Rock-like phenomenon, a sad fact that actually leaves us surprised that it’s even receiving a third season. Not that we’re complaining.
Series creator Dan Harmon and his band of community college misfits—led by Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, and the sexy tandem of Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs—redefine TV’s sitcom format at a weekly clip, ransacking pop culture influences to craft intelligently subversive episodes about zombie outbreaks, stop-motion animated dreams, magical off-campus mazes, and self-discovery via Dungeons & Dragons. Through all of its wacky set-ups, though, Community always feels grounded in reality, a credit to Harmon’s sharp characterization and the cast’s equivalently strong acting.
The best part of all is that Harmon and company don’t seem to give a shit about becoming more accessible for Nielsen’s sake. Community’s second season got stranger as it progressed, and there’s no doubt that the new crop of episodes will continue the unpredictable energy. If you’re not already a fan, now’s the right time to enroll.